Footlighters bring West Side to south side with challenging production
Issue date: 10/30/09 Section: Focus
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"This is my favorite musical. The Footlighters have done some funny shows in the past and we haven't done many dramas, but this is a drama," says director Bradley Hughes. Opening with a rumble between the Jets and the Sharks, West Side Story is a thrilling, contemporary take on Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet,' complete with soaring soprano parts, intricate dancing, and a tragic romance.
But, even the best meet challenges along the way. "Our main issues have been with finding rehearsal space. We essentially had to build our own performing arts area," says Hughes. "Also, whenever you're dealing with such a large group of people, it's hard to schedule rehearsals because they're extra curricular. It's especially with Case students, who are always busy." But, the Footlighters have clearly found the time, the cast putting in 10 to 12 hours a week and other crew members putting considerable amounts of time in to pull the production together.
One of the first dance heavy productions undertaken by Footlighters, much of their rehearsal time has been spent learning and perfecting numerous iconic sequences. On Sept. 26th during rehearsals, it was clear that the work of choreographer Jody Herman is central to the success of the show. Constantly adapting to different levels of technique and the limits of the performance space, "It's a pretty big commitment, but always manageable. I won't lie and say that I didn't think I was going to go insane every other week of this, but when working with such an amazing group, it's really worth all the time and the energy."